2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Texans, with Watt and Clowney, await Falcons

By CHRIS DUNCAN - AP Sports Writer
    2014-08-15 16:19

HOUSTON (AP) - J.J. Watt feels as if he gets asked about playing with Jadeveon Clowney every day.

When the Texans selected Clowney with the top overall pick, they instantly created what on paper looks like one of the league's most formidable pass rushes. Watt is one of the game's most disruptive forces and Clowney was similarly dominant at South Carolina. Clowney is moving to outside linebacker in Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defensive scheme.

The two showed a glimpse of what they could do on the second play from scrimmage in last week's 32-0 loss in Arizona, with both charging in from the right side and Watt sacking Carson Palmer. Watt downplayed how much to read into the play. The Texans weren't doing anything complicated, and Watt wasn't even paying attention to where Clowney lined up.

''Everyone makes a real big deal out of it,'' Watt said, ''but I didn't notice that he was outside of me, so it's just one of those things. You're playing football and some people make a bigger deal on a lot of things than it really is out there.''

Watt played only one series against the Cardinals. With Watt out, Clowney shed a tight end and tackled Stepfan Taylor behind the line. Other than that, the Texans didn't show much against the Cardinals.

Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played the entire first half and completed only six passes with two interceptions. The Cardinals' offense, meanwhile, had their way with Houston's defense, compiling 407 yards and going 11 for 17 on third downs.

O'Brien started the week with a morning film session before Monday's practice, and he saw marked improvement in joint practices with Atlanta this week. The Texans and Falcons play on Saturday night.

Help could be on the way for the Texans on Saturday. Running back Arian Foster, receiver Andre Johnson and linebacker Brian Cushing returned to practice on Wednesday after long layoffs, although O'Brien wouldn't promise that any of the three would play against the Falcons.

Watt and Clowney surely will play after giving valuable looks to Atlanta's reshaped offensive line in the combined practices. Protecting the passer was a major issue for the Falcons last year, and they drafted tackle Jake Matthews and signed guard Jon Asamoah to shore up a front that allowed 44 sacks of Matt Ryan in 2013.

''In this league, you want to keep your quarterback standing up and that was one of our No. 1 goals going into this offseason was to improve our pass protection,'' Atlanta coach Mike Smith said. ''Working against a good defensive line definitely helps us prepare for the regular season.''

The Falcons and Texans started last season with Super Bowl aspirations and finished as two of the league's biggest disappointments.

Atlanta showed more promise in its preseason opener, beating Miami 16-10. Ryan and the first-team offense scored a touchdown on their only series, going 77 yards on 15 plays, and the defense held Miami to 109 yards and five first downs.

Ryan had one of his most productive seasons in 2013 despite the problems around him, completing 67 percent of his throws and a career-high 439 passes.

''The won-loss record wasn't what you would want it to be, but I thought Matt had a really good season, showed a lot of resiliency,'' Smith said. ''I think it helped him grow as a player and as a person. He's become more vocal and we need for him to be a vocal leader and this is Matt Ryan's football team.''

Smith was noncommittal when asked if receiver Julio Jones would play in Houston. Jones is recovering from surgery on his right foot. He practiced Wednesday but not Thursday.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tom BradyJul 27 02:02p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension still has not been announced, and the NFL is now open to talking with the NFL Players Association [ More ]

Doug MartinJul 27 12:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin could be in line for a big, bounce-back year, in the opinion of beat writer Roy Cummings.

Casey MatthewsJul 27 09:12a

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve due to a hip injury Sunday, July 26.

Casey MatthewsJul 26 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) has been placed on injured reserve due to a hip injury that occurred during the team's offseason program.

Blair WalshJul 26 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings PK Blair Walsh signed a four-year contract extension Sunday, July 26, worth $14 million. The deal includes $5.25 million in guaranteed money.

Gosder CherilusJul 26 12:32p

Indianapolis Colts OT Gosder Cherilus was released Sunday, July 26.

Percy HarvinJul 25 09:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Percy Harvin required detailed instruction on how to run routes during OTAs, and Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News believes Harvin will open the year as [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsJul 25 08:12p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams is not receiving any first-team reps despite RB Le'Veon Bell facing a three-game suspension, head coach Mike Tomlin said. Tomlin also said he is [ More ]

Jermaine GreshamJul 24 07:22p

Free-agent TE Jermaine Gresham (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals Friday, July 24, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Isaiah CrowellJul 24 07:02p

Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson will play a prominent role in Cleveland's offense in his rookie year, but RB Isaiah Crowell is still the favorite to start. Johnson is [ More ]

Benjamin WatsonJul 24 06:22p

New Orleans Saints TE Benjamin Watson is slated to start at tight end over TE Josh Hill, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com.

Josh FreemanJul 24 04:52p

Miami Dolphins QB Josh Freeman was released Friday, July 24.

Nate WashingtonJul 24 03:52p

Houston Texans WR Nate Washington is projected to be the No. 2 wide receiver behind WR DeAndre Hopkins and ahead of WR Cecil Shorts, according to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 24 02:32p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin said he is currently at his playing weight a week before training camp begins. Benjamin said he has changed his conditioning and diet in order to stay in shape.

Junior GaletteJul 24 02:32p

New Orleans Saints LB Junior Galette was released Friday, July 24, according to a source.

Jabari PriceJul 24 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings CB Jabari Price was suspended two games for violating the personal conduct policy.

Derek WolfeJul 24 01:52p

Denver Broncos DE Derek Wolfe was suspended four games by the NFL for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. Wolfe said he took a medication he didn't know was banned.

Sean SmithJul 24 10:02a

Kansas City Chiefs CB Sean Smith was suspended three games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Michael HillJul 23 05:42p

Washington Redskins RB Michael Hill was waived Thursday, July 23.

Earl ThomasJul 23 12:32p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) isn't expected to be cleared for training camp, and his status is questionable for Week 1.

Letroy GuionJul 23 12:02p

Green Bay Packers DT Letroy Guion has been suspended three games Thursday, July 23, for his Feb. 3 arrest. Guion plans to appeal.

Tom BradyJul 23 11:32a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was the subject of a settlement offer from the NFL Players Association to the league last week, but the offer was met with [ More ]

Mike TomlinJul 23 10:22a

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin agreed to an extension Thursday, July 23, through the 2018 season.

Jadeveon ClowneyJul 22 05:12p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) looks spectacular, according to a team doctor. Clowney is seven months removed from microfracture surgery on his knee. It was previously reported that [ More ]

Marqise LeeJul 22 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (knee) is expected to be ready for training camp, according to wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan. Sullivan added that Lee will be managed in order to preserve his health.

Sam BradfordJul 22 03:32p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be ready to participate once training camp begins. Bradford has been rehabilitating his knee after suffering a second anterior cruciate [ More ]

Tyler EifertJul 22 03:22p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer.

L. TaliaferroJul 22 01:22p

Baltimore Ravens RB Lorenzo Taliaferro is expected to be pushed by RB Javorius Allen for the No. 2 running back job, but he likely will enter training camp as [ More ]

Jermaine GreshamJul 22 12:32p

Free-agent TE Jermaine Gresham (back) met with the Arizona Cardinals Tuesday, July 21, but the two sides have not agreed to a deal at this point. Gresham underwent back [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 22 12:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said his hamstring is feeling a lot better than it did earlier this offseason. Beckham missed some of the offseason workouts because of a hamstring problem.

Bishop SankeyJul 22 08:32a

Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey is the odds-on favorite to start in Week 1 because he has a year of experience and a full offseason under his belt.

Justin HunterJul 22 02:02a

Tennessee Titans WR Justin Hunter is expected to take part in training camp when it opens, as the team will let the legal process play out, according to a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group